Alright, let me preface this by saying my previous NHL experience consists of playing NHLPA '93 through NHL '98, before a long hiatus that ended with picking up the PS2 version of NHL 06. Post NHL 06, I've owned 360 NHL 08 and played 360+PS3 NHL 09 locally with some friends (who aren't especially good, which is why I'm not asking them for tips). I hadn't really played above All-Star difficulty until this iteration.
I decided to jump in BAP on Superstar/Normal, since the EASHL will run at Normal, but quite frankly I'm getting tooled pretty much across the board. There are a few things that seem to have caught my attention that I was looking for advice dealing with.
First and foremost, it seems that the AI of whatever team I end up playing on gets set to stupid, especially when I'm on the ice. The AI controlled players of a statistically inferior team will make (relatively) efficient line changes, they'll dominate the play offensively with great puck movement and dekes (though they don't score especially often), and defensively they're an absolute pain to deal with. Meanwhile, my linemates like to sit back patiently and wait for me to do all the work -- picking off passes, blocking the lanes, dump + chase -- and the other lines on the team seem only marginally more effective than that. Is that just my perception, or is that the case?
Secondly, I find offense exceedingly frustrating, because the opposing team's computer AI never seems to miss a hit, pokecheck, or stick lift (though they love taking slashing penalties), making it very hard for me to carry the puck in or set something up (having picked 'playmaker' for my BAP player). My AI teammates don't seem to position well or throw passes to open targets (like me at times), and they don't seem to want to ever shoot when I manage to get free long enough to fire off a good pass. I'm also having plenty of trouble beating the goaltenders in a live game, though I manage a fair bit better from a shooting percentage standpoint in practices (shooting assists off in both). What is the AI doing that I'm not (aside from Mario Kart 64-style 'skill' passing)? What types of plays would you recommend I use to 'take control' of the offensive game?
Third, I find defence frustrating because I have nowhere near the same ability to reliably poke check, stick lift, or check (though I've gotten reasonably good at the poke check). My poke check seems to magically go through the puck all the time, stick lifts hit air but give me glorious slashing penalties, and I think I've landed maybe a dozen checks in far too many attempts (and only two have actually counted, since I bounced off my target with the other ten). I'm also having trouble figuring out what, exactly, is termed a takeaway, because getting poke checked seems to count as a giveaway but landing a poke check isn't giving me a takeaway. Are there any good text or video guides for this (or offence) for NHL 09 that you'd recommend?
Fourth, does anyone have a good indicator as to what stats the AI coach is looking for for the 'Stats' category? I've figured out goals/assists (though I only have one assist in nine 10m period games, as pathetic as that is) and plus/minus factor in, but there seem to be tiny jumps elsewhere. I know that passing seems to jump my Team Play attribute (and shooting sometimes lowers it, heh) but I always end up with A-A+ Positioning, C-A Team Play, but usually F-C+ Stats.
Fifth, why is it that whenever I roll up a playmaker I end up stuck on a third line with two grinders with terrible accuracy ratings? Does the game just hate me?
Thanks for your help if you offer it, and feel free to heap l2p flames my way.
Last edited by Espher: 09-16-2009 at 11:32 PM.
I play vs canadians historic team for gloves i think and i lead all the game... They dont cross rhe red line once in the 3rd period except with like 45 seconds left Richads shoots from neutral zone and score to tie it up and they win in shootout........
I always hated playing CPU in every sports game for a reason and it's this one no matter what i ****ing do I always end up losing... From ****ing neutral zone dude.
That alone to me is better to have my face pounded online then having this bullcrap ever happening again.
Positioning: Follow the blue arrow, cross over when necessary with other forwards and take their wing. Cover for the D-Man if he ever jumps up in the play. Try not to linger anywhere way off from the play, and you should end up getting an A. It's the easiest stat to get, but it can be hard to get it in combination with other stats at times.
Teamplay: Think of this like your overall stats. Takeaways, Giveaways, Body Checks, Boardplay, Blocked shots, Clearing the puck, Passing to your teammates while they're in good position, and all the little things that add to win the game are based off of this. If you make 10 straight turnovers from a very bad spot, you'll crater your teamplay stat.
Stats: This is covered pretty much by Goals, Assists, +/- rating, and I believe shootout goals count to a small degree. If you're getting anything lower than a C, then you're probably on the ice when goals are being scored against you.
As for Offense, you just need to know how to cycle the puck and play your positioning in the zone extremely well. Know when to shoot for rebounds, set it back to the point, hold the puck and create space for your team mates and so on. Keep in mind that the EASHL is on All-Star and Superstar. There isn't much of a divide between the two modes though, you can play an equally efficient Offensive game with the two. As for NHL 09 strategies, they're useless now! Only one that remotely applies is the cycle and that's pretty self explanatory. Offense in NHL 09 was: 1. Get the puck, 2. Skate up the ice, 3. Perform one of Loose Puck Deke/Cross-Crease Pass/Curve shot, 4. Celebrate.
To take the puck away from these guys, you need to play it tight and box them into areas where they run into a passing loop, or figure out where they're going to pass it to. You have to time a poke check just right to take it away, and you should be able to recover the puck pretty well that way. You will need to be pulled out of position, but you just have to run a balance between pressing the issue with the puck carrier and being way out of your area of coverage. Be ready to jump back in front of the net, or whatever area you're supposed to cover. Another idea to try is the stick sweep, just hold down the poke check button and you'll sweep your stick around. Use it while advancing into passing lanes or covering tight areas, you go slower while using it so I generally sweep stick, release, poke check, skate, sweep stick. Use a combination of those, and maybe throw in a pass block if you think you can time it just right. The pass block where you kneel down makes it extremely easy for the CPU to figure out where you can't cover, so trying it in front of the net generally ends up in having them pass it inches away from your and getting a great scoring chance.